The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands an immediate release of the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who was Tuesday morning invited and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This development, which did not come to us as a surprise given series of threats to our party’s spokesman by the APC and the Federal Government, who are obviously not comfortable with our stance on the confused state of the nation under their watch, is a continuation of APC’s grand design to silence and decimate the PDP.
The arrest of Chief Metuh today underscores the growing political intolerance in our country and the foisting of a police state which was last Wednesday underscored by the President and Commander-in-Chief himself, who defended why a government in a democracy should flout constitutional provision and brazenly disobey court orders.
This onslaught against our spokesman, according to intelligence available to us is part of a larger script by the government to ensure that PDP wings are finally clipped in their mission to install a dictatorial one-party state in the country.
The excesses of security agencies under this government, especially the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) and the EFCC, in abridging the human rights of PDP members have become worrisome and a threat to our democratic evolution.
Nigerians and the international community will recall that on a number of occasions, the PDP, through its spokesman has been outspoken on some undemocratic proclivities being exhibited by the APC-led Federal Government in the last seven months.
The PDP insists that for whatever reason Chief Metuh was arrested, his rights as a citizen under the law must not be trampled upon. We therefore demand for his immediate release and that due process of investigation and prosecution concerning him should be strictly adhered to.
We state this because we have been made aware of top directives to break Chief Metuh and if possible poison him during his detention by the EFCC. Chief Metuh, has since his arrest at about 10 am, has been kept incommunicado, with his lawyers denied access to him.
The PDP declares the arrest of our spokesman as the last straw that may break our democracy. We therefore forewarn the Federal Government and its agencies to save our democracy and forthwith release our National Publicity Secretary.
We are also calling on the international community and well-meaning Nigerians to stand up for this democracy, which our party nurtured for 16 years and deepened to a level where the opposition, for the first time in our political history, had the opportunity to win in a general election.
Prof. Adewale Oladipo